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What is reasonable discipline?

(70 Posts)
Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 09:09:00

DH wants an objective opinion.

"Do you think it's reasonable to tell a 4 year old to stay in her bedroom with the door closed until she apologises or a time limit is up as a punishment for seriously misbehaving. Bathroom breaks allowed and baby monitor on. The time DH has in mind is 2 hours."

PS Originally he said 3 hours and the misbehaviour was throwing a tantrum because she was upset about going to nursery.

AngelWreakinHavoc Fri 11-Jan-13 09:11:22

2 hours is faaaar too long for a 4 year old.
5 minutes should do it if that is what punishment you see fit.
And I hope this is not saved for when she comes back from nursery or that is not fair at all. She will have no idea why she is getting punished if you leave the punishment till later on.

AngelWreakinHavoc Fri 11-Jan-13 09:16:46

Oh. I would also want to get to the bottom of WHY she didnt want to go to nursery.

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 09:17:46

It would have been instead of going to nursery.

I'm purposely not giving my opinion here as he wants objective views.

Greensleeves Fri 11-Jan-13 09:19:01

No, he is completely unreasonable and over the top! A few minutes is appropriate if he wants to do time outs.

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 09:20:29

I would also want to get to the bottom of WHY she didnt want to go to nursery.

I'd been away and she wanted to spend the morning with me and DD2.

mummy2benji Fri 11-Jan-13 09:37:51

I use the naughty spot and ds gets 4 minutes on it as he is 4 years old (3 minutes when he was 3, etc). That has always worked really well for us. At the end of that time I explain briefly why he was put on it and hat he did that was naughty and he has to say sorry. If he won't, he gets another 4 minutes - but he does always say sorry. Once or twice lately he has refused to take antibiotics that were really important for me to get into him, and the naughty spot wasn't enough - he sat on it reasonably happily and didn't seem too bothered - so I sent him to his room. He cried at that and sat in his room crying - I told him that when he would take his medicine for me he could come out. I went in to him after 15 mins though, didn't want to leave him longer than that. Got the antibiotic down with a bit of a fight but then it was forgotten about. I do agree that 2 hours is too long for a 4 year old. They are quite emotionally susceptible at that age and may withdraw into themselves at being left and think they have been abandoned. Being neglected = mummy and daddy don't love them in a child's mind. Discipline is important but I prefer the "well we can't go to the soft play centre if you don't eat your breakfast, but when you've eaten something we can go out and have fun" approach.

notso Fri 11-Jan-13 09:41:46

Far too long. I would imagine depending on her character she would either try to come downstairs and there will be an battle to get her back and another tantrum or she will find something to amuse her and then just have a nice long play in her bedroom completely forgetting about the tantrum.

My parents did this with me at 5 for staying out to play too late and I can remember completely trashing my room in rage at first but then with glee, my mum then guiltily came in and put everything away.

Maternityleaveisawesome Fri 11-Jan-13 09:43:17

Agree with others - 2 hours is very very long for a 4 year old. With this time, either the child will feel neglected, or forget they are being punished and play happily. Neither of these are any good!

lljkk Fri 11-Jan-13 09:53:29

TWO HOURS? Maybe 5 minutes, but 2 hours is absurd.

4yo DS has been very stroppy about going to school this week, he hates the change back to routine & doesn't like the long days, anyway. I feel emotionally exhausted by 9am. He is missing computer time on Saturday & I threatened he'd miss out on daily biscuit today to ensure cooperation (that worked). Most punishments need to be quick & immediate to have an impact at this age (and sometimes they don't work so you have to go down the super compassionate route, instead). I am not sure that DS is mature enough to connect no computer games on Saturday with how awful he was yesterday morning (but I will try it anyway).

witchwithallthetrimmings Fri 11-Jan-13 09:54:53

far too long and punishment not appropriate.
time out for short period for the tantrum, then get her to explain calmly why she did not want to go.

Tinselandchocolates Fri 11-Jan-13 10:07:26

Punishments don't help, only consequences. She needs to understand why she should/shouldn't do whatever. Pertinent to the misbehaviour and timely.
2 hours is downright cruel, she's only 4 FFS! 4 mins naughty step but must be immediate, if that's the route you take.

Lots of praise of good behaviour. Pasta jar can work well - piece in for good behaviour, piece out for bad behaviour. Mega treat when jar full.

TBH I think it's a really bad idea to let her stay at home because she had a tantrum, just lets her know that's how she can get her own way. "Paying for it" with 2 hours locked in a bedroom is absurd. If you've decided she needs to go to nursery then take her, backing down because she's had a tantrum is a disaster!

WhereMyMilk Fri 11-Jan-13 10:21:02

Any punishment must be a natural consequence of the bad behaviour. So in this case an explanation of why her behaviour is unacceptable and four minutes thinking time.

Re: rewards-stickers, jars etc. Giving a reward is a positive thing. But once given you must not take it back again for bad behaviour as this leads them to think that there is no point in doing something good, as they will lose their reward at some point anyway. Leading to negative thinking and loss of self confidence.

Tinselandchocolates Fri 11-Jan-13 10:25:36

Interesting point wheremymilk, hadn't thought of it like that.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:30:38

2 hours??? Is he kidding? shock

If you do time out then it's 4 mins.

It also depends on what the serious misbehaving is - considering he is being so over dramatic about the punishment then I think we need to know what she did that was so naughty.

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 10:36:54

I think we need to know what she did that was so naughty.

She was refusing to go to nursery and threw a tantrum, screaming and shouting. She kicked at the inside of our car.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:32

I just read back and realised the tantrum was because of not wanting to go to nursery. Sorry!

Massive over reaction - no need for a punishment at all, you need to find out why she din't want to go. Was it general messing about, was she scared of something, tired?

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:59

Leaving aside the 2 hours for a moment, do you think it would be reasonable to shut her in her room until she apologised?

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:39:40

X posted!

At least she didn't kick another person wink

Again, it's no buggy, it's a tantrum, kids have them.

What do YOU think OP?

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:22

Shutting in rooms is not necessary at all imo. I have only just started telling ds who is 11 now that he can go upstairs and calm down a bit and come down when he is ready to be polite.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:33

biggy not buggy

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 10:42:17

you need to find out why she din't want to go. Was it general messing about, was she scared of something, tired?

She loves nursery normally. I'd been away for work for 3 days. I imagine that she wanted to stay with me because I'd been away (this is for work but usually it's 1 or 2 days not 3) and because she was jealous of DD2 was spending the morning with me (DD2 is too young for nursery).

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:43:45

Well, sounds like that's it - she probably needed a bit of time with you to re connect. Could she not have had the morning with you?

Softywife Fri 11-Jan-13 10:44:47

What do YOU think OP?

I don't want to add my opinion until everyone's said theirs - it might skew what people post and wouldn't help.

paranoid2android Fri 11-Jan-13 10:47:40

Totally unreasonable as others have said. Kicking the car doesn't seem that naughty to me . It sounds like she was upset and just expressing how she felt

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